tv Charlie Rose WHUT March 22, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to our program. tonight we begin with libya and a report from tobruk with nbc news correspondent richard engel. >> if the mandate is just to create a corps dance around benghazi and tobruk and around civilian populations so they can't be massacred, well that can be done and that has almost already been done. but the rebels don't want. that they want air cover as they march to tripoli. >> rose: and we continue with barney frank talking about the economy and financial reform. >> rose: we have death panels for big banks, not old ladies. if a bank gets to the point where it can't meet its debt it is bank is put out of business. that bank is dissolved, the shareholders lose everything, the board of directors and
officers are fired. the federal government may then step in and pay some of the debts not out of love for the bank but because it is possible that the debts will spiral in that way. >> rose: we conclude with nathan mir vold and a new book about modernist cuisine. >> at a certain point i realized this book would be my contribution to the world of cooking so it's my way of saying look, thanks for all of the meals and if hopefully you find it useful and if so it will allow people who would never have the opportunity to work at the fat duck to learn those techniques, apply in the their own cuisine, maybe take it in a totally different direction. >> rose: richard engel, barney frank, and nathan myhrvold when we continue.
every story needs a hero we can all root for. who beats the odds and comes out on top. but this isn't just a hollywood storyline. it's happening every day, all across america. every time a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, not just a dollar. they are small business owners. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
>> rose: we begin with an update on the crisis in libya with richard engel of nbc news. first this, speaking at a joint press conference in chile, president obama defended the air strikes. >> i think it's very easy to square our military actions and our stated policies. our military action is in support of an international mandate from the security council that specifically focuses on the humanitarian threat posed by colonel qaddafi to his i also have stated that it is u.s. policy that qaddafi needs to go go. and we've got a wide range of tools in our military efforts to support that policy. we were very rapid in initiating unilateral sanctions and then helping to mobilize international sanctions against
the qaddafi regime. >> rose: joining me now from the eastern city of tobruk is richard engel, chief foreign correspondent for nbc news. >> it's a pleasure, charlie. >> rose: what's your sense of this war? what factors on the ground influence the way you see it? >> the rebels here obviously are very excited that they finally have international support, particularly american support they feel that they have suddenly been recognized by the greatest military in the world, the u.s. military, and that army and air strikes and naval strikes will carry them to tripoli. i'm not sure if that's what the intended message is from the united states but it's how it's been perceived here and the rebel strategy seems to be allow the air strikes to continue to decimate qaddafi's army and they can do this very slow march to tripoli and they think that's what they're going to do. they're going to stay in the
background and allow the heavy lifting to be done by the americans. and there is a cycle of dependency that has been created that i'm not sure how can be ended. if this air power were suddenly to stop, we would go back to the same situation where we were before where the people here in tobruk and across eastern libya feel very threatened and the rebels would start losing again. so it could be a very long conflict and the rebels are dependent now after just two days of fighting on foreign military help. >> rose: and what's the strategy of the qaddafi forces? >> at the moment, the qaddafi forces that are on the front lines, that are in eastern libya very far from their command and control structure, some of their strategy is just to survive and they've been holed up in a few places in ajdabiya, for example, which is about 400 kilometers, 300 miles from here. the qaddafi forces are balled up
in a protective circumstance until the western part of the city not far from the hospital and they are fighting and they have been fighting to defend themselves, to hold their ground. other units that were out in the open desert have had a much more difficult time and those units that have been out in the open have been getting attacked by air strikes and missile strikes. so where the qaddafi forces are in population centers, they are holding them and fighting because retreating would just put them out in the open desert where they are... where they're vulnerable. >> rose: do the rebels think they can take this fight to tripoli? >> rose: the rebels are... well, the rebels right now think they can because they think the u.s. military is behind them. what's sort of disturbing is that the rebels are divided into two groups. they are the volunteers-- people who have no military experience whatsoever who have just joined up to fight an they're unemployed, they're islamists,
they're a grab bag group of people. some of them are rushing to the front lines very enthusiastically and some of them are getting killed and injured. the other group of the rebels are the units that defected from qaddafi's army. and they have military experience. they're mostly sticking in their bases. in tobruk, where i am right now, we went out to find the commander today of the military unit that defected in this area and we went to the main base, the command structure here in tobruk, and we were told that the commanding general was at home, he was resting, he had effectively taken the day off. you would think that if you're a rebel movement and suddenly the world has joined sides with you this wouldn't be the day to take a day off. >> rose: why do you think this is going to be a long war? >> i think it's going to be a long war because the rebels who are fighting right now have very little experience.
the country is divided. they can probably get to... they can certainly spread-- if these air strikes continue-- beyond benghazi, they can probably get to surt, there's a lot of open road they have to cross. but so unless qaddafi's forces completely collapse and the tribes that are with qaddafi right now change sides, if they have to fight their way mile by mile all the way to tripoli, it will be a long war. and it's not clear exactly what the u.s. and international objective is. if the international objective is to protect the cities, well, then, they don't really have a mandate to protect the advancing rebels who are not unarmed civilians, they are an advancing rebel army trying to engage in regime change. so if the mandate is just to create a cordon around benghazi and tobruk and around civilian populations so that they can't be massacred, well, that can be
done and this is almost already been done. but the rebels don't want that. they want air cover as they march to tripoli and if they get that then it could be quick. if they don't get that this war might not end and could end in a stalemate. >> rose: is your expectation that they will get it? >> i'm not sure. we're hearing a lot of different messages from the international community. the arab league which so enthusiastically called for this and was one of the first international organizations to call for humanitarian intervention for libya seems to be having second thoughts with the secretary general of the arab league going to great pains to say these air strikes have to avoid civilian casualties. they have been avoiding, as far as we can tell, civilian casualties and have not been attacking in any dense population centers. there have been some in the compound, of course in tripoli,
but that was aimed, we were told at administrative buildings despite qaddafi's propaganda. so it's already the arab league starting to express reservations. putin is starting to express reservations. i'm not sure how much the international community has a... has the will for an offensive war that the rebels want to topple qaddafi. >> rose: richard engel, thank you very much. i know it's very late there and i appreciate you taking this time to talk to us. >> my pleasure. >> rose: barney frank is here. for 30 years he has represented massachusetts in the house of representatives. he is the ranking member of the house financial services committee. in a survey of members of congress he was voted as being both the most partisan and the most bipartisan. he was at the center of the debate over financial regulatory reform last year. the dodd-frank bill was signed into law by president obama in july. since then, the legislation has faced challenges. the new majority in the house is
attempting to water it down while some tea party members want a complete overhaul. i'm very pleased to have barney frank back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: first of all about dodd-frank. did you get most of what you thought ought to have been in the bill? >> i got better than 90%. there was one thing in it that i didn't want and it's now become the major focal point of controversy, that's the debate between the credit card companies and the retail merchants. that's an important issue but it's not a consumer protection issue and wasn't the cause of the crisis so we didn't have that in the house bill. as far as the house bill is concerned, yeah, we got most of what we wanted. i would not have exempted the automobile dealers from the consumer bureau. but here's the key point people miss: the lobbying power, frankly, doesn't come from the big banks and their big money. the community banks, the smaller banks eat the big banks and people ought to understand this. it's a good thing about america. money is important but votes will beat money everyday. >> rose: there is also this when
people talk about dodd-frank. it's the notion that much of the regulations remain to be done and to be defined. >> true. >> rose: so the bank says we're uncertain about how we feel about this because we don't know how it will come down in the end. >> true. fair point. >> rose: so the power is the people who define the enforcement. >> some of it is. although there were limits to what we do. for instance we say if there is a fill your, this whole "too big to fail," from now on if an institution fails it the goes out of business. it may be illegal now to do what was done in 2008. i don't say that critically of henry paulson and ben bernanke who i admire. they had no option. one of the things we did was respond to henry paulson, the secretary of the treasury's request that we give him options. if a large institution fails, here's the problem. it's got debts it owes to so many different people who in turn owe debts to so many different people that the crash of one of those institution cans
reverberate throughout the economy. here's the dilemma. do you pay their debts or do you not? now in 2008 the answer was either you pay all the debts or none of the debts. legally you had no choice. and you keep the institution going. we adopted... i have to say sarah palin was a little bit right last year. that's a good batting average for her. we have death panels but for big banks, not old ladies. if a bank cant meet its debts that bank is put out of business. that bank is dissolved, the shareholders lose everything, the board of directors and the officers are fired. the federal government may then step in and pay some of the debts not out of love for the bank but because it's possible that the debts will spiral in that way. but if they do-- and this goes back to what i said first-- if the government has to step in and pay the debts as it did for a.i.g. and as it didn't do for lehman brothers, whatever the federal government pays out, it's the minimum immediated to avert disaster and will be recovered by an assessment on
the large financial institutions those that have more than $50 billion in assets so we have specifically banned the notion that if a bank fails it's going to be kept in business or that the taxpayers will pay off the debts. >> rose: all right. people also say, look, you're the ranking minority member of the financial services committee which... how does that feel to be the main guy there in a time of financial crisis and now you are the ranking minority member. >> well, to some extent it's kind of... i don't have to work as hard. my work is less... >> rose: nor do you have as much power. >> no, i don't have as much power or responsibility. >> rose: exactly. >> it's not as frustrating as you might think because we have completed the work. that's one reason why we were eager to get that done last year. by the way, i forgot to answer... i skipped your very important question, the answer and i don't want to get back to it charlie because it's central and you're right. yes, we got the power out of the regulators. things change.
if we say that there needs to be a certain amount of... need to be more capital to offset what they do. the more capital a bank has, the i don't know what that number is today and i also know that whatever that number is today that might not be the number five years from now. so we left it to the regulators because we want to have flexibility. for people who think... someone has suggested that well, this could be weakened by the regulators. but the fact is that with the obama administration in place you have regulators who won't like the bill. >> rose: but what they also say is that this republican congress in the... republican-controlled house will do things it hopes will lessen the power to enforce it. >> i agree. but they will be hard pressed to do it. they won't be able to change things substantively. the senate won't go along and the president won't go along. secondly-- and there's a
difference here between financial reform and health care and the environment where health care and the environment are related, the republican party is united. the pure ideological conservatives and the tea party are together. but when it comes to financial reform, not so much. the ideological free market conservatives believe derivatives should be unregulated. the tea party is not that crazy about derivatives. there's a populist element there. they don't mind us regulating credit cards. they don't mind us doing some of this regulation. so they haven't tried to undue it all together. >> rose: the tea party people don't mind regulations even though they don't like big government. >> well, you know, people are not always consistent. many of those who were most vehement against the health care bill argued that we better not do anything about medicare. >> rose: (laughs) i know. >> or, the most popular form of medical care in america with the recipients is totally government run. it's the medicine at the department of veterans affairs. >> rose: (laughs)
that's true. >> totally government run. >> rose: it's the old notion about i don't like the government messing in my health care. >> in my medicare. yes. >> rose: (laughs) medicare. >> so what the republicans are doing is trying to reduce the funding that goes to the agencies to administer the bill. and it's particularly the case in derivatives which are complicated and which were totally unregulated and led to a large part of the problem. a.i.g., which was the precipitating problem there got into trouble over derivatives. they owed much more money than they could pay off because they made bets that weren't bad. what we have is we gave much more power to the securities and exchange commission and the commodities futures trading commission to regulate derivatives. the republicans in the house have refused to appropriate the money for them that they need to run this. so that's very much at issue. i hope that will be overcome. >> rose: now the so called volcker rules are intact in this bill and therefore so-called
investment banks won't be able to engage in propriety trading? >> here's where paul volcker makes his point. we ensure your deposits. if you are a bank, technically a bank, you take deposits, you get deposit insurance, the federal government is on the hook. if you gamble unwisely the taxpayers... that fund may have to bill you out. so we said to the bank you be a bank and if you engage in this razzle dazzle put it somewhere else. put in the another institution. that's one, by the way, that the big banks decide very strongly. >> rose: what are they going to do? they'll no longer engage... >> they'll spin it off and sell it off. >> rose: j.p. morgan, wells fargo? >> they will either spin off the unit that does these kinds of things into a separate unit... and i have to say from the standpoint of the american public and the economy, it really doesn't make any difference. they may cut the profits of some of these institutions. by the way, there's a very
distinguished british journalist who... if we had stayed in power and i continued to be chairman i would be having hearings about whether some of this financial activity does any good or not. >> rose: his quote is is there any social good from the financial sector? >> right. the purpose of the financial sector is to be the intermediary. >> to allocate capital. >> here's the deal theoretically. a lot of people have money in small amounts. guy in to a financial institution which aggregates it and then makes it available to people who are going to invest it to produce a good or a service. they are the interintermediaries and we used to call it disintermediate united nations. >> rose: right. >> i now believe much of what goes on in some of these institutions that are complaining and this we restricted is trading for its own sake. let me give you an example. there's an gnarl the "new york
times" last week, hedge funds potential gain from volatility. and they said the trouble in japan, the trouble in the middle east has which has got everybody jumpy, that's not necessarily bad news for the hedge funds because a hedge fund doesn't just make money if stocks become more valuable, it makes money on the difference between what they pay and what they can sell for. >> rose: right. >> and they arbitrage the differences. yes they do that and most of it in my judgment has no particular value. >> rose: so there's nothing to do about it? >> well, to the extent... we didn't directly go after it. one i would be willing to put some more revenue collection on them. like make hedge fund managers pay the regular income tax rate rather than get the capital gains tax with other people's money but beyond that when we do the volcker rule and say the bank can't do these activities and the financial institutions, oh, my god, maybe there will be less of them. the answer is okay, good. >> rose: did you change anything
about derivatives other than a kind of transparency? >> yes. and we made a distinction. >> rose: and a clearing house? >> that's beyond transparency. derivatives have two functions. there is a legitimate function. if you are producing a good or service you want to focus on your cost and your estimate of demand. you don't want to get blindsided by wild variations in your cost on something you can't control. you want to figure out how people are likely to travel and where the demand is going to be. you don't want to be blindsided by an explosion in the middle east that means oversight in your fuel prices triple or double. so you hedge. you buy fuel and agree... >> rose: and financial institutions say that's an important function to lay off the risks. >> basically what it is is you forgo a windfall profit, you stave off a devastating loss. what we believe, though... what we've said is and if you are a... an end user, we call it, someone producing a good or service and you are using
derivatives for that purpose the only thing we change is the price will be made public and i'll give you my argument for that. two insurance entities came in to see me and complained about this bauds they said you're hurting the end users and i thought they really worried we were hurting them. i said the only thing we're doing is requiring the price to be public and one of them, a yucker man said "that's a problem for us, mr. chairman, because if you make the price public, somebody else can come in ahead of us." i said "excuse me. does that mean if we make the price you're charging people public somebody else can come in and offer the product for a cheaper sflis" he said "exactly." and his older colleague said "mr. chairman, we're not pressing that argument." >> rose: the dodd-frank bill, the controversial person is elizabeth warren. you have said as recently as this morning on television that you think the president ought to put her name up? >> absolutely. >> rose: and appoint her to be the director of the bureau. >> yes.
>> rose: and that you believe she has a chance of being confirmed because on financial regulation there's not a single monolithic point on terms of the republican party. >> yes. the tea party and the extreme free enterprise purists... except for... when i say free enterprise purists, except for agriculture. apparently there's a footnote in all the books that says-- or maybe it was in german, but it says "except agriculture." elizabeth warren is thoughtful and shrewd and believes in the market. frankly one of the problems that we talked about this with the derivatives. what we were doing derivatives by and large is to force them into a market type operation rather than one on one private negotiation. and i find some of my friends in the business community like competition as a tech tateor support. they think it's wonder to feel watch other people engage but they have reasons why xe fission their case would be districtive. elizabeth warren believes in it.
i'm very... i'm proud of dodd-frank and particularly... she came to me a couple years wag that idea and i'm honored. she did a video... >> rose: to create the bur slow in >> to create the independent video. and here's the problem. until we passed that bill, consumer protection was done as an afterthought by the control of the currency. >> rose: where was it? in the federal reserve in >> it was sped out. some was in the federal reserve, some was in the control of the currency, some of it was in the federal deposit insurance corporation. and some was nowhere. we have things like payday lenders and check cashers was where there was no federal involvement. so we said we're going to make it their job who will protect bank and as an afterthought do that. that's more popular with the tea party wing than health care. >> rose: here's the criticism they make. it seems to me the president ought to have the political courage to go ahead and do it. >> that's a nice word you use, "courage." >> rose: do r they right?
>> people could have used other words but you you said a nice word. to his credit, he stood by us. it would be unfair to criticism him. that's now law. an independent consumer bureau is the most... that did more for consumers than anything in american history. he stood with us. and he stood with us and we got that through because he was steadfast. he deserves the credit from the independent bureau and appointed elizabeth war testosterone be the administrator over our objections. you have people in the business community ready to blame the president if things go bad and they're going say see? it's because we lost confidence that the economy turned sour. now, i don't think that's fair but i understand that constraint. >> rose: they also say we lost confidence... they also say confidence is a factor and also certainty is a factor. >> well, by the way, that plays in our favor and that's one of the problems republicans have
because if you can use uncertainty as an argument until we pass the bill. >> rose: well, they say uncertain city a factor because we don't know what the regulations will look like. >> but they're also saying don't go so fast with the regulations. slow them down. that uncertain city an excuse. they don't want the regulations. as we move more quickly to get them done... go back toe liz beth warren, when we did the bill regulating credit card abuses, say you couldn't retroactively raise the rates on credit cards for people because of some other dispute they had with the merchant, the republican leadership was overwhelmingly against the bill but almost half the republicans in the house voted for it. i think when you look at what she's talking about doing, banning bad mort mortgages... everybody agrees mortgages went to people that shouldn't have gotten them. we democrats made it illegal for you to give mortgages to people who couldn't afford them and she's going to administer that to them. i welcome them making a fight over that because when people
make a reality of what those issues are, they're overwhelmingly popular. >> what's going to happen with debt limitations? >> the tea party is the unusual... if we were negotiating... if harry reid, senate leader and the president were negotiating with john boehner and mitch mcconnell i would have some sense of what was going to happen. right now the republican leadership? the house doesn't have the ability to get what it wants in many cases and on occasion after occasion they've taken a position and tea party members have backed them off. so the negotiation is harry reid and the president, mitch mcconnell, john boehner, the white rapid and the mad hatter and i cannot predict how that will come out. >> rose: (laughs) the white rabbit and the mad hater? >> yes, the tea party. and what's happened is you have tea party representation in these negotiations. here's the difference between now and 1995. we're at war. >> rose: when the gingrich revolution moved up? >> right. when they shut down the government.
now we're at war. the shutdown of the government if it comes exempts paying for the military directly but it's very disorganized to have a government half shut down trying to run a war. i don't see how they can talk about it. here's the problem philosophically. >> rose: boehner has said they won't do it, hasn't he? >> i agree. if it was up to boehner and mcconnell they wouldn't do it. they know it's irresponsible but you have a tae party group and nobody knows what they're going to say. ironically because they talk about defending the constitution they act as if they were in england, not america. and here's the rule. if you're in england and you win the election of the house of commons on tuesday, on wednesday you're in total control of the government. you have everything. the american constitution writers said wait a minute, at any given time it will be the people elected with six-year terms in the senate, a four-year term in the white house and a two-year term in the house who will govern. so governance power now in america-- unlike england where the house of commons elected a couple months ago is in total
disorder this was in america it's people elected in 2006, 2008, and 2010. the tea party types won the election decisively in 2010 but under the american constitution it makes more than one election to get the power to make the decision and that's the deliberate part of the constitution so it's ironic that these people who talk about the constitution seriously misunderstand its fundamental structure which is governance... it takes you two elections if not three to really get power in america. so by all logical means we'll be able to work out a compromise but i just don't know whether boehner will be able to get the tea party people to go along. >> rose: should the president have done more and paid more attention to the deficit and deficit commission? >> i think he's done the right there. he appointed the deficit commission. >> rose: but he hasn't agreed with anything they have said. >> he's pushed for some of it. >> rose: he didn't mention his support for hit in the state of the union.
he just said it offers an opportunity to debate. >> right. and that's because he doesn't agree with every part of it. >> rose: four senators write a letter urging him to... >> why don't they do it. if 64 senatorss really believed it they could do it. have you seen the bill? they're good at writing letters why don't they write the bill? here's the dilemma-- and libya could exacerbate it. i don't sign on to that commission for this reason. >> rose: you won't sign on... to the deficit reduction commission. the only socially responsible and economically responsible way to bring down the deficit is to substantially reduce america's military footprint. you cannot continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military all over the world-- including places where we have no real need-- and bring down the deficit unless you savage everything else. >> rose: you're saying if you cut the defense budget you will not have to savage health care... >> or the environment. or housing.
or... >> rose: or social security. >> you have to put some... >> or social security. social security which is not now in trouble. medicare is a problem. and you can... let's put it this way. you have to have spending constraints elsewhere. but the biggest chunk should come from military spending. the military budget is an example of culture... we are spending well over $100 billion a year wholly unnecessarily. i think it's important that the u.s. air force have the largest air force in the world. but i do not think it follows that the u.s. navy should have to be the second-largest air force in the world. unless you think the navy is going to fight the air force. >> rose: no, come on. the planes that are attacking in libya are coming offover an aircraft carrier. >> right and you know what? the planes attacking libya... i was disappointed in that. i thought we were going to send out missile. france is 100 miles from libya. >> rose: why did you think we were going to send out missile? what made you they? >> that was the initial... >> rose: they never said that. the resolution simply said, you know, use whatever military
needs... >> the u.n. resolution. i was talking about what the american share would be. i guess i was too optimistic. here's the deal. why is this america's major responsibility? why isn't it italy's and france's and germanys? we are in afghanistan virtually alone. >> rose: you know why? first of all they would say... this is what they would say in answer to your question. they would say two things. number one, the united statesed that firepower available that could be in place faster an better. and also that the rich are sending some planes... the brits are sending planes and stuff over and the french. they would also say it's our intent to get out of there and hand all of this over to the brits and the french and others snoochlt. >> rose: and we're not doing it quickly enough. >> rose: it just started three days ago. >> they should have started it with then. >> rose: it was necessary. you need it had fire power to stop qaddafi from marching on benghazi. >> then the british and the french... >> rose: you needed american military to do that. why would you be opposed to
that? >> because if that was the case i would not have been opposed to it. it's not been demonstrated to me. i do not understand if you look at the relatively threadbare army of qaddafi that britain and fans and other european countries couldn't do it and you're right that we were considered to have the firepower and not them but that's our fault. we have enabled that. look, 65 years ago... >> rose: and they definite it will did not want to make this a nato operation. >> and they should have with the arab league and others. what's the purpose of nato if not to do these kinds of things? the countries closer to libya should have been doing it. look, we have made this mistake. we have put the rest of the world to the view that only america can do it. beyond our financial capacity as i said i thought some of the initial missile shootings could be there. but i'm afraid this is going to be another case where they leave it to america to do it. i don't understand why it's not within the capacity of britain and france and italy and germany
and spain to take out qaddafi's army. now in the short term that may be a problem but at the very least... >> rose: but... >> i'm sorry charlie. if we ever again come to that we have been got to stop the situation where it's always america's respond nobody else in the world has much of a responsibility. if you're telling me britain and france and other european nations can't must terrell tivoli small amount of military strength needed to deal with libya and they have to rely on america, my answer is that's part of the problem. that we have encourage add dependence in the rest of the world and we may have to do something temporarily now but only if we say "this is the last time and from now on you have to build it up." they're cutting their military budgets while we are expanding ours. 70 years ago, 65 years ago europe consisted of poor, weak nations because of world war ii that were confronting a brutal armed dictator, stalin. so we went to their defense. there's no more stalin. europe's not weak, we're still
there. and the time has come for us to say to western europe, when it comes to europe and the mediterranean, you're in charge. we have responsibilities elsewhere. we'll worry about north korea. but we... otherwise we can't cut off... >> rose: keep the troops in korea and take them out of sglurp >> absolutely. i don't understand... what are the troops in europe doing there? who are they defending europe against? the russians? i would take 15,000 marines off okinawa, they have no function. i would keep the air and sea power that we need in the middle east... in the far east and i would keep troops in south korea because off lunatic there. but, no, we don't need american bases and troops in western europe. >> rose: do we need an american base if bahrain? >> yes we probably do need a naval base there in a limited way. >> rose: do we need a base in qatar? we have a base there? >> i think we're overextended over there and we coulding a ask our european allies to do more. they are all cutting back. we could reduce our military basis substantially if the
british and french and germans were willing to do more. and the japanese. world war ii is over. for a long time we said we can't expect japan to do anything. i think now when you look at the economics of it... the alternative is the $700 billion american military budget that is the greater form of foreign aid in the history of the world that goes to rich countries that allow them to cut their own military budgets. >> rose: do you think it's possible for, between the president and boehner and mcconnell and reid for some kind of grand bargain here that would involve defense spending and social security, medicare and taxes. >> i'm afraid not. i wish i could, but i think with regard to taxes... i would say that social security is necessary because i think there are some things you can do. the problem is i do not see on the republican side give the ferocity of the tea party's
current position and the extonight which they've been able to dominate boehner and make him back down, i wish that was possible. i don't see it. >> rose: he's hostage to the tea party is what you're saying? >> yes, they have 08 some odd votes. not just the tea party people but other republicans. but the big spectacle that hangs over them is senator robert bennett, a very conservative... >> rose: lost in the primary. >> he lost in utah. the republican members are so afraid of losing to right wing opponents in primaries and conventions that the bargain you were talking about i'm afraid is i'm skeptical. >> finally this, unemployment. paul krugman wrote the other day that washington had lost interest in dealing with the unemployed and that it would create perhaps a term innocent underclass. >> i'm afraid that's the logic of what the republicans are talking about: cut, cut, cut. i want to make a long-term commitment to reducing the
deficit. i want in a couple years that we can in the short term spend money. in the last year we have gained private sector employment every month but we have lost public sector employment. we're losing cops and teachers and park supervisors. with this emphasis cut the deficit, cut the deficit? the immediate period. that comes at the expense of dealing with unemployment. we ought to be saying in the short term we'll try to do something with employment within the context of an intermediate longer term deficit reduction. so the answer is paul krugman is exactly right and i regret that. now the extent that you... >> rose: (laughs) >> i don't regret that he's right. i regret the fact. >> rose: he's right that the reality is right? >> he's the best writer we have today on the economic situation i regret the fact that the current fashion is to put short term deficit reduction at the expense of economic activity and a better try do that would be to have a more intermediate deficit
reduction plan and do something about unemployment in the slorpl >> rose: i've got a thousand more questions but i have to let you go. thank you so much. we'll come to washington... >> we'll do it again. thank you, charlie. >> rose: thank you very much. >> rose: nathan myhrvold is here. he's the c.e.o. of a company called intellectual ventures. he was the chief technology officer at microsoft. he entered college at 14 and by 23 had his ph.d. in physics. he spent a year studying with steven lauching. he's also passionate about food and just published an book about modern cuisine. chef david chang calls it can cook books to end all cook books." i'm pleased to have hi hboutasin talk about his passion. welcome. greet see you. >> great to be here, charlie. >> rose: how many books? >> six volumes. 2,438 pages. my favorite statistic? four pounds of ink. >> rose: (laughs)
>> exquisite photographs. cook s recipes, history. what else? >> well, there's the science of cooking. to motivate why we do certain techniques and there's a lot on modern cooking techniques and equipment. >> you call this modernist cooking. is that based on the idea that this... you're telling us something new and some revolutionary movement you want to start and define about cooking? >> in the mid-'80s, a number of people started trying to experiment with new kinds of cuisine. they took knew vessel cuisine and started going beyond it. another people started applying science in the kitchen. harold magee applied science in the kitchen. and a third us there is that often technology developed by food scientists or even by central food concern, technology
started coming into the kitchen. >> rose: it used to be called molecular gastronomy. >> that is kind of a controversial name within the field. there's a french food scientist who's sort of the leading man of that and he insists that name be reserved for science not the... to name the cooking movement. meanwhile, the people in the cooking movement, they don't like the name, either. also, some of this is about cooking in a modern style or modern aesthetic like modern architecture or art. that's what ferran does. some of it is to a very traditional aesthetic but using computer-controled machines that will exactly regulate the temperature rather than by doing it by guess and by gosh. and so some is saying let's ching our technique regardless of the style we apply to and some is about saying let's try to do stuff really new.
>> rose: you i think in in an interview said something like this. that when the impressionist first came to the forefront people didn't understand what they were doing or where they were taking us and they understood that and were okay with that. >> yup. >> rose: but then it became what it became and you see an analogy with modernist question seen. >> modern start in large part the story of avant-garde groups of which the french impressionists were one of the earliests that said we're going to do something very different. controversial. at the kipl widely decried. in the book we have some cartoons from paris newspapers of the 1870s. one shows a pregnant woman being refused admission to an impressionist salon because the paintings are too ugly and might cause her to miscarry. another shows people using impressionist canvases as weapons in war because they were so ugly people would run from
them. now, today that's ridiculous because they're among the best-loved part in the whole world. but in that era. they challenged people's assumptions about what's art, what's beauty? what is a painting supposed snob in the same way many of the chefs cooking in a modernist aesthetic like ferran or wily dufresne in the city or grant in chicago, those... they deliberately try to create something from an aesthetic per speckive that's new in the same avant-garde way that we've seen many movement, in art and architecture do. >> at the end of the day what do you want us to appreciate? >> well, there's other people, not me, had developed the foundations of a cuisine for the 21st century. that all of these techniques and ideas, some from science, some from artist quick cuisine. they were hard to get at. so i wanted to create one
definitive place where you could go learn all that stuff where everything from the physics of how heat moves through food-- because that's important-- to here's a bunch of specific recipes ranging from things like recipes from tofu or cheese, very traditional things to really wild stuff they would all be in one place so i decided to write a big book. >> when did you decide this? >> about five years ago were the first inklings, four and a half years ago i had an outline and we pretty much wrote that outline. >> rose: indeed, you had a co-writer? >> i had many. >> rose: many co-writers. >> i had two principal co-authors, chris young and max belay. but we had a team of 18 people working for three years and at various points we have... the high watermark we had 36 people working on the book. that includes graphic artists, researchers, copy editors, photographs, a big team of folks. >> rose: the science of cooking. how important was that? >> oh, i think that's important
because one approach is to say follow the recipe, don't ask questions. just do it. that's fine if you want to repeat it the same way every time. but if you want to do things on your own or if you're a curious person then it's important to say well, here's why some of those things work. in traditional cook books people will say a variety of things. here's why you do it. often they're not right. a good example, people will say we're going sere the steak in order to seal in the juices. it does the opposite. if you sere it, it makes the juices run faster. so i wanted people to have intuition about how it worked so they would that they would then both know it for its own sake and be able to apply it and say okay, because i know that, if i do in the this different direction here's what i think will happen. >> rose: let's see pictures here because this is one of the things people are ravingut a t arsokloctur. itchen. look at the ...e's something at (laughs) yes, that's a kchen. that's a... i ?fif ou r office? >> it's in our lab.t'
where wepany has a lab ypotote our inventions. >> rose: intellectual ventuottu >> yes. so we just have one part of the lab in the kitchen. >> rose: here's a question when people read the book or read about the book. they say "am i going to have to get a whole bunch of tools that i don't have in order to cook the way nathan want knows cook?" >> so about half the book i think you can cook with almost anybody's kitchen. if you go to a kitchen store like sur la tab or williams sonoma and you bought whatever was required of stuff there, you could probably cook 80% of the things in the book. that last 20%... >> rose: (laughs) >> good luck! good luck. because a lot of it requires pretty exotic stuff. we had the philosophy not to dumb it down. so if the best way to the it was to use a piece of exotic equipment we tell you how to do it. we'll also tell you how to do it some other way butsay everyone say everyone has to cook everything, i think people are curious.
>> rose: tell me what we've got here. >> here is a traditional dutch oven. it's heated with coals below and above and we cut it in half! and people assume we did these things gingerly and, of course, we did use digitally photography and digital tools but mostly what we did is we cut stuff in half! which makes a hell of a messyobt makes everything look good for a thousand of a second. >> rose: (laughs) next picture is, in fact, the perfect hamburg. so what makes this the perfect hamburger? >> we did a lot of research to try to refind our concept. everyone has their own perfect hamburg sore i can't claim this is yours but we ground the meat ourselves and it turns out there's a special technique you use for grinding the meet. it's simple to do but makes a huge difference in how juicy the hamburger appears. there's difference mixes of meat different cuts of beef we grind up. we made our own bun. >> rose: and you kept tasting
and facing until you qhad had what you thought was... >> that's right. we made our own ketchup out of mushrooms. in the 19th century mush room ketchup was the most popular ketchup in the united states. number two was walnut ketchup. >> rose: you went on the internet toe ask everybody everything they knew about a style of cooking. what was it called? >> sue'd have cooking. the basic idea is that you cook at low temperatures very accurately. so instead of cooking a steak on a grill where you cook... the grill might be a thousand degrees, you have to time it very precisely. here you might cook at 125 degrees. almost like bath water. a little bit hotter. so you take the steak and cook in the that water. to prevent the steak from getting soggy you put in the a container, a hard container but usually a plastic bag and often seal that plastic bag. although that's not really essential for the technique. well, by cooking it at that low
temperature for a long period of time you get perfectly even cooking and you never overcook anything. >> rose: i want to see a couple other pictures here. one is a parasicm wor in a cyst in a pork muscle. >>up y >> rose: there it is. ave a whole pile of so microscos tand i ake photograph us there crospecod t ohis isne of the pictures is .o . intw ero po htse. the first is food saf hyetsy important. this is a trickla nel worm. this is n why your mom probably taught you cook the hell out of pork. .t rose:ig >> turns out you don't need to cook pork anywhere near as much as people think. but don't eat rare bear meat. >> rose: next is a lobster with the exoskeleton remove. >> what you eat in lobster are the muscles, the musculature. so grant, one of our chefs, laboriously took all of for shell off carefully, carefully, carefully.
and you can see all the muscles without seeing the shell. >> rose: one more last picture is a bullet passing through a dozen eggs. what does this tell us? >> well, if you want to mange omelet, you've got to break a few eggs. at our lab we have a this amazing cram that will shoot video at 6,200 frames per second. so we did a bunch of high-speed videos for the book and our web site, videos of popcorn popping and so forth. so one of the guys took something out, took the camera out to shooting range and we broke a few eggs by shooting them. >> rose: people like alice waters have made... have informed us of the importance of the material that goes into cooking and local food, local material. local products would be the right word. and gotten a lot of attention on that. who what do you say to that? >> i think it's great. >> rose: there's no contradiction between those who believe that...
>> not at all. i'm not going to stand up for bad ingredients. there's a few ingredients that we use, some people feel uncomfortable with it because they're not familiar. we use a jelling agent called agarer is rooifd from seaweed. it's been used in japan and asia for a thousand years. we use other ingredients. we use liquid nitrogen which is 78% of the air around us is nitrogen. if you cool it down enough it condenses into a clear liquid. those things are new and unfamiliar. that's just kind of a new and interesting ingredient. we patronize the local farmers' markets in seattle. we have a sustainable shellfish grown for us by a place called taylor shellfish. i have no argument against approach to cooking. >> rose: people raised the question that this is processed foot. >> processd is technique and if you process with an eye towards making something wonderful, like wine, like cheese, like bread,
like pasta, well, some of the things we do in this book are as elaborate as making cheese or bread or wine or pasta. but they take you in a different direction and allow you do new things. we have plenty of traditional recipes in the book. >> rose: is the best food you like food prepared this way? >> that's a complicated question. let me give you two answers. the first is this is my book so i like every recipe in the book. (laughs) you may not but i do. soy love the stuff in the book the way we cook it. guys like ferran or heston or grant or wily or these other guys are artists. they are working in an artistic medium and art is supposed to provoke thought and emotion by manipulating our senses and food is that kind of thing. so for me eating at the fat duck is like going to an opera. it's like going a show at the whitney or the met.
it is an artistic experience. it's not something you do everyday. it's not like you come home from work and say "hey, hohn, let's go to...". >> rose: (laughs) right. >> and as an art form i think it's absolutely as legitimate as say, an on what. or in some cases it's more popular, like going to see "wicked" on broadway. i don't want to see "wicked" every night, either. but it's an amazing piece of art. so... and i draw a distinction between that versus food you eat all the time. i eat lots of food. i eat lots of ethnic foods. so i'm never going to only eat that food but i do appreciate it as fine art. >> rose: can you find in the most cities? >> no. >> rose: that's the point. >> no, most cities don't have a rest like like this in part because how do you learn? unless you are an apprentice at the fat duck or half a dozen other restaurants around the world you won't learn these techniques.
>> rose: does it have a restaurant in seattle that does this? >> there's some restaurants that are starting with the techniques but no. >> rose: why haven't you done something about that? >> (laughs) i've been busy writing a book. people are can ask me, they'll say how come you're writing this book, you don't have a restaurant? i'll say, no, you don't understand. if i had a restaurant i could never take amount of time to do this book. >> rose: have you ever had a great desire to have a restaurant? >> i don't think i'm going to be a professional chef in that sense. >> where do you put the achievements of this book for you in terms of the kinds of things you have done with your life? >> well, you know i have 4r06 it had world of food my whole life and i have to say... >> rose: you cooked turkey dinner for your mother. >> when i was nine years old i announced i was going cook thanksgiving dinner. i went to the library, got books and, by god, i did it. up until now i have to say i was a par site in the world of cook i enjoy cheese great restaurants. i would buy cook books, cook for myself. i didn't... i didn't make a contribution.
and if i had a restaurant, that would be some kind of a contribution but i'm not sure it would be all that great. at a certain point i realized that this book would be my contribution to the world of cooking so it's may way of saying thanks for all of the meals and if hopefully you find it useful and if so it will allow people who would never have the opportunity to work at the fat duck to learn these techniques, apply in the their own cuisine, maybe take in the a totally different direction but creating a base of that knowledge and letting people access it i thought was an interesting thing to do. k rose: and you.yoan u. .os rank you. >> rose: >> okay, thank you. >> rose: the book is called "modernist cuisine" their than myhrvold. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh